Health and Beauty

Asthma Airway Remodeling

New Paint: Another Asthma Trigger in Kids?

Children and their parents or caretakers visiting general pediatric University of Miami clinics were surveyed on various topics including home environment. Of the 163 children in the survey, 36 children had been diagnosed with asthma, and 10 of these children had been exposed to paint. Overall, 44 children in the cohort had interior portions of their home painted within the past year.

Of the five boys and five girls who lived in homes that had been painted and were also diagnosed with asthma, two of the boys and four of the girls reported an asthma exacerbation, for an overall one-year exacerbation rate of 60%. Among the asthmatic children who were not exposed to paint, about 25% reported an exacerbation, Saif reported.

The mean age of the children in the study was 7. About 11% of the children had tested positive for allergens. Smokers were present in just 5% of households.

In her presentation, Saif suggested there may be ways to prevent or reduce the risk of asthma attacks even when the home needs a paint job. That included switching to a safer alternative paint "such as low- or zero-VOC [volatile organic compound] water-based paints which can reduce or eliminate VOC emission. Conventional oil-based paint emit high levels of VOCs and can result in chronic exposure to compounds," she noted.